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Afghan Government Is Not Releasing Anas Haqqani: Sediqqi

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(Last Updated On: October 14, 2019)

Afghan government says it has no plan to release any Taliban prisoners including Anas Haqqani, a high-profile member of the Haqqani Network.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the U.S. and Taliban representatives have begun discussing ways to resume the Afghan peace talks.

The report added that the two sides have discussed the swap of prisoners and the Taliban group is demanding the release of Anas Haqqani in exchange for two American professors.

However, Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi rejected reports about the release of Anas Haqqani.

“Our policy has not changed toward prisoners under the custody of Afghan government and it will not change. The government of Afghanistan has no such decision to release Anas Haqqani,” Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Monday.

However, Hamayoun Jarir, a senior member of Hezb-e-Islami political party told Ariana News that he believes the U.S. and Taliban have agreed on swap of prisoners in order to build trust.

He added that the two sides have agreed to exchange Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Ahmad Rashid with two American professors kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2016.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban claim that hidden talks had been continuing between the U.S. and the Taliban negotiators after U.S. President Donald Trump said the talks with Taliban are dead.

“The talks will be resumed from the point it ended and the two sides will reach a final agreement before the launch of intra-Afghan talks,” said Waliullah Saheen who is following the Afghan peace talks.

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Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on Dec. 19

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighboring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month. 

The meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on Dec. 19, with delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China also invited.

“To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

“Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

There have been growing warnings of the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan since international aid was abruptly cut following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

However, getting help in has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the IEA, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.

Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan but aid agencies have warned that much more help is urgently needed.

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Pakistan to let Afghan trucks transport wheat from India to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s has allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines through Wagah as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Pakistani government said in a statement Saturday.

“With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” read the statement.

“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance.”

The statement noted that the decision was conveyed to the Charge d’ Affaires of India on Saturday at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding that “the Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.”

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France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Several European countries are working on opening up a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan that would enable their ambassadors to return to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.

Western countries have been grappling with how to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) after they took power in Afghanistan in mid-August.

The United States and other Western countries shut their embassies and withdrew their diplomats when the previous government collapsed, following which the IEA declared an interim government whose top members are under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

“We are thinking of an organisation between several European countries… a common location for several Europeans, which would allow our ambassadors to be present,” Macron told reporters in Doha before heading to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

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